Activision Blizzard (ATVI) said “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” the latest title in its popular gaming franchise, surpassed $1 billion in sales to retail stores on the first day.
The video game is eyeing a record set in September by Take-Two Interactive Software’s (TTWO) “Grand Theft Auto V,” which took three days to hit $1 billion in sales to consumers and sold $800 million on launch day.
Last year’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” reached $1 billion in 15 days, after posting $500 million in first-day sales.
Initial sales of the top video games have come in well ahead of movies and other entertainment. The 2009 movie “Avatar,” which topped the $1 billion mark in 17 days, is the only major entertainment release to come close.
“Call of Duty: Ghosts” hit store shelves on Tuesday, with midnight openings at 15,000 locations worldwide.
The $60 military simulation game is available for Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 3, Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox 360, Nintendo’s Wii U and PCs. Versions for the new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles will be released on Nov. 15 and Nov. 22, respectively.
GameStop (GME) said the latest “Call of Duty” is on pace to be the video game retailer’s most-reserved title this year.
“This is the must have launch title for the next generation of consoles, and we expect ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ to be the most successful launch title for the Xbox One and PS4 by a wide margin,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of the Activision Publishing subsidiary.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick added that “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” and its digital content have generated more revenue in the last 12 months than any other console game has in a single year.
Activision is expected to report third-quarter earnings later Wednesday.
Shares jumped 1.2% to $16.73 in early morning trading. The stock was already up 55.6% on the year through Tuesday’s close.